I have serious British envy. I really hope I can live in London for a while someday. I watch tons of BBC TV. Theatre in London can’t be beat (don’t get me wrong–I love Broadway, but there is just something about those British actors….) My roots are primarily British. Last time I visited I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was coming “home.” I am sure I am being somewhat romantic about it all, but why, oh why, can’t I have tea every single day????
“Just make yourself a cup of tea!” you say. Well, I do make myself several cups of tea a week. But what I really want is an excuse to eat lovely things every day in conjunction with my tea. According to legend, Queen Victoria began the tradition of tea by adding some lovely snacks, almost like a “light dinner,” to her afternoon tea, to combat that late afternoon slump before dinner is on the table. Granted, they used to eat much later, so by five pm it is no wonder the Queen was feeling a bit “peckish” when dinner was still three hours away. I often find myself feeling quite peckish indeed. Especially during Arsenic Hour (you know, from 5-6 pm). So don’t I need tea too???
One of the premier places to be served high tea is at The Orangery located at Kensington Palace in London. We spent most of day at the palace and ended the day perfectly by tea at this lovely location. Full tea service includes your choice of tea (herbal tea luckily an option since we do not drink black or green tea), plus a tower of savories, sandwiches, scones, pastries, and clotted cream. Just send me to heaven now. There is something really decadent about hot tea, crumbly scones, pecan tarts, and crustless cucumber sandwiches. I am serious. I am meant to have tea. Perhaps it is in my genes.
But alas, I can’t figure out how white bread, clotted cream, and carbo-loading fit into my overall health goals. This is the part in the post where I throw a huge tantrum and cry about it. Why do all things ultimately delicious have to be consumed in moderation? WHY? Why can’t I have tea with scrumptious goodies every day????
This is what they bring you. You each get your own little tiered tower of goodness and pot of tea. Start at the bottom and work up! Sandwiches…scones….clotted cream (oh so divine)….tarts……yesssssss……….
Hungry yet? I am.
So, maybe I can’t have tea every day. But maybe once a month? Perhaps one Sunday a month? Maybe I will start a new tradition……pretty sure my family would not complain.
What say you all?
Oh, now I know why the British call dinner “tea.” When I first got here, my neighbor invited the kids over for tea on Halloween. I thought she literally meant tea, so I fed them dinner before they went over there (and brought an herbal packet in my pocket for myself just in case). Then they were not hungry to eat the dinner she had made, nor did she bring out any tea. I was thinking, “If you meant dinner, why didn’t you say dinner?”
I’m feeling like I should mail you some British teas. What flavors are your favorite? My favorite here is the fennel seed. Sorry I can’t mail the clotted cream too.
Yes…I noticed that too. It seems they use the terms interchangeably. What is the fennel seed tea like? Kind of like licorice? I bet that is good. We had a honey ginger or something like that and it was delicious. I have a lavender citrus I really like, as well as an apple cinnamon. So many choices! And I love that story. What a funny cultural mix-up!
I am drooling!
Yeah…..sounds so good right now.